The Old Covenant had a Temple, priests and sacrifices. The New Covenant also has all three, but how do they differ from what the Jews had? Try to think why?
The benefit of being a priest was access to God. We have that kind of access as priests and Mark talked about interceding for others as being part of our priestly role? How difficult do we find that? What sorts of things have encouraged us to pray for others?
“That’s why talking of worship as just singing praises is wrong. It’s selling God short. He doesn’t want our songs, however good or bad. He wants us, lock stock and barrel. When he has, anything else we call worship becomes truly meaningful. “ Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
“Ultimately, we are the most significant evidence that Jesus exists. We are priests. It’s supposed to be like that.” Has the lockdown helped you think about how you are the hands and feet of Jesus to others? How may it help us as we think of re-opening ministries in the church in the coming months?
Our speaker this Sunday is again Rev Beth Powney, one of our Regional Minister Team who will be taking us through Psalm 30. The service starts at 10-30am, can be paused or run back at any time during the serivce (as in BBC iPlayer) and will appear as a standard YouTube video afterwards.
Steve referred to the International Justice Mission during the service. They can be found at https://www.ijm.org/
For Reflection & Discussion
Read Psalm 30
What do we learn of the readiness of God to forgive and restore when we sin, go through a difficult time of doubt or falling away from Him? (3-4) Have we ever had an experience of this in our lives? How does this verse help us as we think of family and friends who don’t know the Lord or who have fallen away?
The psalm is about healing from an illness. The wording suggests the psalmist saw the illness as a product of God’s anger against him. Is there a connection between sin and sickness? Or sickness and punishment?
What does the passage tell us of God’s willingness to forgive and restore? Have you any experiences of God’s healing or of restoration in your life? How did that affect your spiritual life afterwards?
Beth talks about the way in which we often have to let go of things we think important in order to move on in our spiritual lives. In the context of the situation right now as far as coronavirus and lockdown is concerned, is God trying to show us what sorts of things may God be asking us to let go of? How might the closing verses on dependence on God help is as we reflect on this?
Welcome to our 6th edition of C-Kers online. This edition we are going to continue to look at the parables of Jesus. If you remember, a parable is a story that has a heavenly meaning – the story teaches us something about God and how we may know him better. Today we are going to look at what’s been called the Parable of the Rich Fool. Before we do that, let’s look at another modern parable which teaches us something about God from a tea bag.
So, let’s look at the Parable of the Rich Fool. Here’s a little cartoon that tells us the story with as few words as possible!
Jesus told the story of a man whose land was very productive and he got huge harvests from it. Here’s what he said:
Luke 12:16-21 Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’
20 “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’
21 “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.”
Have you ever wondered where most of our food comes from? You only need to go for a short walk out of Felixstowe to come across fields where crops are growing – potatoes, sugar beet, wheat and other things. Unless we grow our own, famers grow crop on their fields and when they are harvested, they are packed and sold to us as food in the shops. But how do crops grow? It’s true that the farmer has to sow the seed, take care of the crop and then harvest it, but how much the farmer gets depends on how productive the land is. In Suffolk we are fortunate as our land is very fertile and there’s plenty of rain. Where does all that come from? It’s God who gives us the seasons, the weather, the soil.
The man in the story took it for granted that his land had made him very rich, so rich that he he felt that he’d made it in life. But he hadn’t thought about God. He hadn’t thought about others either, because rather than sell the crop to feed hungry people, he could keep as much back as he wanted to make sure that he would always be OK even if others weren’t.
This is a parable about why it is important not to be greedy and only think about ourselves, but think about God and what He gives us and think about others we could help with what we’ve got. God has given us His Son Jesus, who died for us so that whether we have a long life, or like the man in the story, have an unexpectedly short one, that we will get the most out of life by walking with Him and after that to spend eternity with Him. Getting the most out of life isn’t just thinking about ourselves, but thinking about God and thinking about others. Let’s ask God to give us the wisdom to follow Him and the kindness to help others.
Father, thank you for the gift of Jesus, who gave his life for us, so that we may know You and that You will be with us throughout both life and eternity. Please give me the desire to follow Jesus, to find the forgiveness and hope the He brings. Please help me to be like You in thinking of the needs of others around me, and being prepared to help them to the best of my ability. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
We’ve got some activities for you again this time. Have a look through, find the materials you need for the craft and off you go! There are two craft items, the Rich Fool Perspective and the Rich Fool Barn, and a colouring page. You’ll need to print the sheets out first.
Many thanks to rev Beth Powney for the message this morning and for her notes in the Service Transcript.
The prayer letter mentioned in the Intercessory Prayers from BMS Missionaries Paul and Sarah Brown is in this blog: https://bit.ly/2DaFc6q
For Reflection & Discussion
Read Joshua 3:1-10
1. Beth’s sermon was about “crossing over” from one territory into another – those times in life that big changes happen in our lives that take us from the familiar into the unknown. What situations have you had in life that changed you completely? How have these helped to shape the course of your life? What part did your faith play?
2. What can we learn from finding and following God’s will for our lives and church from these phrases?
Verse 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.
Verse 5 “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
Verse 9 “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.
3. For the Israelites, going back wasn’t an option for them. Many Christians are looking for the restoration of normality after the events of the last few months. Do you think this is a realistic option? Why?
Read Acts 10: 9-22
4. Beth said “will we ask God the brave question of what is his best for us and our community for the greatest good of his kingdom both now and at the end of our lockdown?” What does Peter’s experience tell us about embracing new ideas? What new things have we already learnt from life in lockdown? How do you think they can shape us in the coming months and years?
Take time to pray through some of the things you have reflected on.
The Service will premiere at 10-30am on Sunday and will be available on demand afterwards.
For Discussion & Reflection
Read Isaiah 61:3, 1:27, 57:4-5; Hosea 4:13 and Ezekiel 6:13
1. What do you think was the attraction of oak trees (and similar large hardwoods) as objects of idol worshippers? What do the scriptures given tell of the idolatrous practices held under sacred oaks?
2. What sacred places do we find in the Bible where God was worshipped? What has been your experience of visiting “sacred places” whether Christian or otherwise?
3. Of God’s people, Isaiah 61:3 says They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour. What are the fundamental differences between sacred oaks and these “oaks of righteousness?”
Read Isaiah 61:4-9
4. What other benefits are afforded the people the Messiah has rescued? How do these differ from what the setup was for the people of Israel?
5. How might these verses help us in understanding what church should be like in these days when we can’t use our building (much)?
Welcome to the latest edition of C-Kers Online We have Scruffy with us again, and he and Jan are going to learn about what a parable is. Do you know what a parable is? If you don’t, have a listen and see what you can find out.
Jesus used to tell his disciples and others who wanted to listen, stories called parables. Somenoe once said that parables are a “heavenly story with an earthly meaning.” They are stories that teach us something of what God is like.
The first parable we are going to look at is called the Parable of the Weeds. Here’s a little video that tells us the story.
If you want to read this for yourself it’s in Matthew 13:24-30. There are quite a lot of fields ready for harvest around here at the moment aren’t there? That includes wheat fields. These days farmers spray their fields with weedkiller, but you’ll still find fields where there are weeds like wild oats growing amongst the crop. They grow taller than the wheat so we can clearly see them. They don’t belong, but there’s nothing the farmer can do as to try to pull them out will damage the crop. But when harvest comes, the combine harvester will separate the wheat and the weeds.
In the world there are good people and bad people but sometimes it’s hard to know the difference. The Good News about Jesus is spread all ove the world. Many decide to follow Jesus, but there are many that don’t. How do we know who’s who? In the parable Jesus makes it clear that it’s not really our job to try to decide who are the good people and who are the bad people in the world. God knows who are his friends and who are his enemies.
What God wants those who trust and follow Jesus to do is to love others regardless of who they are, so each person will see Jesus in us and want to follow Him for themselves. Others learn about how much God loves them as we love others.
God promises He will deal with evil someday. We don’t have to worry about it because at the end of time He will make everything right as Jesus says in this parable. The important thing is that people will decide to follow Jesus for themselves before any of that happens. Jesus is saying to you today, “Follow Me.”
Here’s a great little magic trick about loving God and loving others.
Here’s a prayer:
Father, thank you that in Jesus you have shown your love to me. Please help me to show your love to others day by day, that they may understand who You are too and decide to follow Jesus. We ask htis in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Here are a few activities for you to do at home. You will need to print them out, and follow the instructions.
Before we sign off this edition, we’ve got a couple of bonuses for you. The first is the Fun and Faith video from the Virtual Carnival a couple of weeks ago. It ha son it a couple of activities which you can do, and you can send off for a goodybag if they still haven’t run out yet. The second bonus is news of an Online Holiday Bible Club. Churches can’t hold any clubs this Summer, so that’s disappointing if you are used to one. The Club below starts on August 3rd on YouTube and details are on the video.
It wasn’t possible to hold Felixstowe Carnival this year, so organisations that had planned to be at the carnival were asked to make contributions to a virtual carnival. This was Fun and Faith’s contribution. It’s lots of fun for all the family. So enjoy. If you want a goody bag, do get in touch with Gemma at email@example.com .